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OC Poulsbo bidding expected in early 2001

"POULSBO - Olympic College is still on track in Poulsbo. This was the message conveyed earlier this week by Karl Jonietz, president of the Bremerton-based college. Land on the northwest end of Little Norway is currently being primed for work and tree removal, pending city approval, will be underway in the next 30 days. The forest practice permit is before the city right now. That will allow us to start cutting trees, Jonietz said Monday. In the meantime, the project is also working its way through the state Department of General Administration in Olympia. The state, which paid $13 million toward the new college, will be working with contractors and related issues once paperwork is finalized. We're moving forward, Jonietz remarked. Nonetheless, the proposal to construct a 38,000-square-foot building, surrounding campus and the necessary parking has had its roadblocks along the way. When asked whether the college was behind schedule, Jonietz responded, It all depends on which schedule you look at. He continued, noting that although OC supporters aren't where they planned to be on the branch campus time line, they are on track according to the modified schedule. Project bidding, which was a focal point last December when Olympic College requested two amendments to the Olhava Master Plan, isn't expected until the early part of 2001. Although the changes to reduce a wetland buffer and increase the maximum building height were unsuccessfully challenged by local environmentalist CarolAnn Stockton, her appeal sent shock waves through the OC camp. Jonietz warned the city then that if the amendments were not allowed, the proposal would be in serious jeopardy. What he feared most at that time was the potential loss of the $13 million nest egg, which the college plans to use in hatching the new branch. The fate of the money (now secured, Jonietz assured) was somewhat up in the air following approval of Initiative 695. If the city hadn't accepted the changes to the college master plan last year, the state funding could have gone to some other agency that suffered a loss of funding in the wake of the tax reducing initiative. "

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